Many remember growing up in the ’90s and hearing about the tragic death of Princess Diana, a sudden death that shocked the world. Hollywood made a film about the final years of Diana’s life, released on DVD Feb.11. But did “Diana” stick to the facts or was the biopic fictionalized for dramatic effect?
Diana (Naomi Watts) has been thrown into the spotlight following her separation from Prince Charles. While Diana struggles to live a normal life, she visits a hospital where she meets a Pakistani heart surgeon, Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews). The two begin a relationship while trying to avoid scrutiny from the press. The relationship eventually ends, and Diana begins dating Dodi Fayed (Cas Anvar). The movie ends with the announcement in the news of Diana and Dodi Fayed’s fatal car accident.
One of the biggest problems with this film is some misrepresentation regarding who Diana truly was. Biopics can be entertaining, but they are not always historically accurate. Although the film included a scene about her time in Angola working to save children from being killed by landmines, it made Diana out to be a silly little rich girl instead of the humble humanitarian that she was. Even during that scene, some of the press presents Diana’s charity work as nothing more than a meaningless and shady publicity stunt.
At times the dialogue felt like a soap opera, focusing more on Diana’s relationship with Dr. Khan and completely ignoring her life as a mother to two boys. The film, excluding an interview scene about Diana’s separation from Prince Charles, disregards the princess’ past with the royal family. In addition, the relationship between Diana and Dodi Fayed is falsely portrayed as nothing but an attempt to make her ex-boyfriend Dr. Khan jealous, a portrayal that construes Diana’s character as an overly bitter ex-lover.
The trailers made this movie look better than it was, and the film seemed unrealistic at times, almost as if it came straight out of a tabloid magazine. The movie failed to convey any actual insight into the true character of Diana. If you care more for entertainment than historical accuracy in a biographical film, “Diana” may be the film for you. But if you want to watch an authentic and accurate film based on the truth of someone’s life, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
Ashley Matthew is a senior journalism major and an arts & entertainment writer for Cedars. She loves shopping and watching professional wrestling.